I fully intended to use these dried cranberries in my food storage plans, but once the kids tasted them, well… let’s just say my future plans turned to history. Drying out the little guys was easy as pie, though, and if I had more than one steamer basket, I could have made a bigger batch – a whole bag at least! Next time.. next time.
How to Dry Cranberries in Your Slow Cooker
What’ll you need to dry cranberries? Depends on how many cranberries you want to dry, and how big your slowcooker or crockpot is. Mine’s not super big, so I used a steamer basket to create a second layer. If you have multiple steamer baskets, you could probably dry a whole LOT of cranberries all at once. Why do steamer baskets work so well for this? The same little holes that let steam through to get your broccoli all yummy without boiling it also let hot air circulate among the layers so all the berries dry thoroughly.
- Tin foil for the bottom layer – if you don’t use it, your berries will stick a bit. OK, a lot. Just throw in some water when you’ve taken out your dried cranberries, and let it soak off in the hot pot.
- Steamer baskets – as many as you have.
- Fresh cranberries – as many as you want.
Put a layer of tinfoil on the very bottom of your slow cooker, and pour your cranberries on top of the foil in a single layer. Don’t over do it, give them a little room to breathe. Add in a steamer basket, and pour more cranberries on top in another layer. Keep adding steamer baskets and berries until you reach the top of your slow cooker, then lay a paper towel over the top of the cooker. Prop the lid over the top, and do not let it seal up – you want the moist air to get out! Turn your slow cooker on Low and let ’em go – times will vary, mine took about 5 hours.
Dried Cranberries Are Sour
Have you tasted the yummy dried cranberries from the store? Mmmm, right? That’s because they’re all sugared up. Don’t taste those freshly-dried cranberries, whatever you do, until you’ve sweetened them some. I made a simple syrup and dredged them around a bit, then added a skosh of salt on the advice of a genius friend. They were a little sticky, so I put them in the oven to dry the syrup – the result, a dangerously addictive popcorn-crunchy treat that never made it into my Prepper Pantry. I am totally doing this again.
Have you ever dried cranberries yourself?